CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of the West Virginia State Bar is calling for patience in the situation involving state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.
During an appearance on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Dean Rohrig said the Judicial Investigation Commission has only been involved in the process that takes place when a judge is named in charges, adding there are other steps that should be allowed to continue.
“We have a system in place to deal with the allegations and it seems to be working quite well,” he said. “And I don’t think anything else needs to be added to that process.”
Loughry allegedly committed 32 violations of the Judicial Code of Conduct stemming from what the Judicial Investigation Commission described as “a pattern and practice of lying and using his public office for private gain.” Temporary Supreme Court justices ruled Friday that Loughry is suspended from the court for his actions, including statements made about renovations to his court chambers and furniture.
Loughry has not responded to the charges.
Gov. Jim Justice and legislative leaders said after the ruling Loughry should resign, with the Democratic Caucuses urging a special session to consider impeachment if Loughry refuses to step down. Justice said in a press release Friday he would be open to calling a special session if there is interest.
Rohrig said these non-criminal charges should be taken seriously, but patience is important.
“It goes to the class for resignation and the talk of impeachment, which I don’t think is certainly not going to keep the processes dignified,” he said.
The Judicial Investigation Commission’s process includes a hearing as well as further recommendations to the state Supreme Court. A federal indictment would pause these actions.